A rare catch at Boondooma, a nice Saratoga from the Boyne (Photo: Matthew Langford)

March 2, 2016

by Matthew Langford

Our two dams have enjoyed some much-needed water inflows since my last report.

Whilst it wasn’t a huge amount – about 100mm per dam – it’s still enough to lift the levels and keep the fish active.

Both dams haven’t changed much as far as the fishing goes and there are huge opportunities to get amongst some great fishing for natives on Boondooma and BP.

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Boondooma Dam

There’s a couple of good fishing options for Boondooma this month.

Early on in the day, your best option would be to hit the trees in either the Stuart or Boyne arms chasing Bass, Yellowbelly or even Saratoga amongst the spindly timber.

I usually start there first when the arms are quiet, and it usually pays off.

I like to cruise amongst the trees with the electric motor and cast 5/8 Bassman Spinnerbaits or soft lipless cranks in tight to the spindly trees, let the lure sink from 3 to 5 seconds, then start my retrieve.

This usually accounts for a few Bass and Yellowbelly. The Goldens particularly like lipless cranks cast tight to the structure and the Bass tend to hit as the lure bounces over the underwater structure.

It’s a great way to fish and it can be nail-biting stuff at times, especially when you hook up to a quality fish.

Just recently I was in the Boyne arm casting to some really thick spindly timber in the middle of the arm when I noticed a telltale swirl of a Saratoga. Toga are not real thick in the dam so I wasted no time in picking up a Bassman and casting it over the top of where I saw the swirl.

I started a burn retrieve and immediately hooked up to an acrobatic Toga, which came out of the water several times. It went into the net quite easily and I was rewarded with a beautiful fish of 68cm.

Toga are a rare catch in the dam and I’d been keen to get hold of one for quite some time, so this was a memorable catch for me.

Dylan Brandley with a cracking 51cm Bass from the main basin of Boondooma, caught on a spinnerbait (Photo: Matthew Langford)

Later in the day when the sun is up, I’d be moving out to the main basin and sounding for concentrations of fish in the 14 to 15 foot range.

At this time of year the fish that sit in this zone – which is called the “thermocline” – are  real suckers for slow retrieved or burned 5/8 spinnerbaits.

So give this a try next time you’re out, but make sure you find some good shows of fish on the sounder before you start casting. It pays to put the work in to find them because you can be greatly rewarded.

Trollers are getting some big Bass in the main basin, trolling 5/8 spinnerbaits, mainly around the Barber’s Pole area, the dam wall, Leisegang’s Ledge and Pelican Point. Be patient and the rewards will come.

Bait fisherman are still recording good catches in the timbered sections of the dam using shrimps and worms. Silver Perch, Bass, Yellowbelly and Eeltail Catfish are all catchable and good eating quality.

Red claw are patchy but if you put in the work you will catch some whoppers. Remember: if the pot is empty, make sure you keep moving them as you might drop a pot on the honey hole.

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BP is a great place to take your family, especially if you have kids; they will love the park and the fishing (Photo: Matthew Langford)

Lake Barambah

Bjelke-Petersen Dam has been the pick of the dams as far as numbers of fish go.

Sessions of 20 plus fish are not uncommon, and if you put the work in you can get some quality as well.

A few areas that have been fishing well lately are Lightening Ridge, Treasure Island and wide of Bass Point.

Make sure you ask the guys at the kiosk if you want to know these areas.

Soft plastics rigged on a 1/2 ounce head have been very effective. Soft Vibes and spinnerbaits are also a great go-to lure with a burn and kill retrieve if the fish are sitting up off the bottom.

Areas not to forget are the places around the edges of the dam that hold some structure. Because the dam is so shallow, the fish like to move up into these areas to feed most of the year.

Coming into autumn, the fish with definitely be up in these areas. Baits like spinnerbaits and blades could become a key bait at this time of year.

Trollers are catching some nice fish trolling around the main lake points of the dam, over Lightening Ridge and over Treasure Island.

Deep diving hard bodies are also accounting for some nice Yellowbelly, especially the more fluorescent colours.

Bait fisherman are still getting some nice Golden Perch up in the timbered arms of the dam using shrimps and worms as bait.

The red claw have been fairly quiet this year but they are still there to be caught. Set your pots around structure for the best results.

With showings on the sounder like this at BP, it’s hard not to get fish in the boat (Photo: Matthew Langford)

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Park News

It was great to see a record attendance at the Annual Yellowbelly fishing competition this year, which drew a total of 832 entrants.

Everyone was well behaved and most people caught fish.

A huge thank you to everyone that attended this year’s event and made the weekend such a success, as well as the Boondooma Fish Stocking Group, led by Terry Allwood, who made it so enjoyable.

These guys will put the money back into fingerlings to keep the dam flourishing for years to come.

Now that were coming into the Easter break, the dams will become quite busy.

Can I please remind everyone to be wary of the 6 knot zone in front of the camping areas as well as no access to Sandy Creek, which is just past the dam wall.

Also, please don’t park your boat in the swimming zone in front of the picnic and park area.

Fisheries Queensland will be visiting quite often over the Easter break and we’d hate to see you fined for the above reasons.

That’s it for this month’s report.

Until next time, tight lines and bent rods!

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